Alindarka’s Children


Alhierd Bacharevič

Winner of the English PEN Award for Translation

Category: Literary Fiction
: 978-1-910895-405
Format: Paperback
Pages: 350
Release date: 30 September 2020
Price: £11.99

‘Kafkaesque with elements of cyberpunk’

-New Eastern Europe

‘An average Russian citizen tends to see Belarus as a Russian province, and in line with traditional Russian nationalism considers Belarusian to be an ‘uncouth village patois’.’

-New Eastern Europe

Alindarka’s Children (Dzieci Alindarkiis, 2014) is a contemporary novel about a brother and a sister interned in a camp. Here, camp leaders teach children to forget their own language and speak the language of the colonizer. Because of this, leaders use of drugs as well as surgery on the larynx to cure the ‘illness’ of using the Belarusian language.

When Alicia and Avi manage to escape, camp leaders pursue them.  Now, the children have to thrive for themselves in this adventure, which bears a likeness to an adult and literary ‘Hansel and Gretel’.

The dialogue translates well to the guttural differences between English Received Pronunciations and Scots. Jim Dingley translated the Russian into English and Petra Reid, author of MacSonnetries,  translated it into Scots.





Alindarka’s Children tells the story of Alicia and her brother Avi. The children live in a camp where camp leaders teach them to forget Belarusian and to speak Russian instead. Camp ‘doctors’ use drugs as well as surgery on the larynx to make children forget their native language. When Alicia and Avi manage to escape into the forest through a hole cut in the wire, they have to fend for themselves as camp leaders pursue them.  Alindarka’s Children is an adult and literary Hansel and Gretel adventure which works as a manifesto for the survival of the Belarusian language. Also, its translation into Scots and English well reflects the use of Russian and Belarusian in the book.


A full page spread in the New York Review of Books is forthcoming, watch this space.

‘Kafkaesque with elements of cyberpunk’ -New Eastern Europe

Read more about Alindarka’s Children in this double spread review in the Scotsman.

‘I was always well aware of what I had fled from and what I had come back to.’ These are the words author Alhierd Bacharevič wrote on the day of publication for Alindarka’s Children. Read the whole excerpt here.

About the Author

Alhierd Bacharevič weaves into the Belarusian novel Alindarka’s Children his own personal experience of growing up in the linguistically-torn country of Belarus. As a result of this, people tend to speak Russian more than Belarusian. In the 1990s he founded and was the vocalist for the first Belarusian-language punk band Pravakacyja (‘Provocation’). Now, he is a multi-award-winning author and his works have been translated into English, French, German, Czech, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Slovene, Russian, Polish, and Lithuanian.